It's that time of year again.  Present wrapping time.  I hate to say it but its getting so that I miss Bill more at this time of the year than any other time!  I do not especially like wrapping presents and Bill was so patient and just slowly but surely made his way through the stack of gifts, one by one, getting them all wrapped up.

  Me?  Not so much.  I try to wrap at a hundred miles an hour, which never ends well, get a horrible back ache, then forget what I wrapped and who its for.  And then you try to discreetly open one end to see what the hell it is and who its for and the whole thing rips and has to be totally rewrapped.  Grrrrrr!  (shovel list)

I think I mentioned a while back that in this household we decided to use what we have, improvise you might say, and avoid buying anything new.

With that in mind I have decided to use newspaper.  I have a whackin' stack of it in the basket at the front door under the mail slot.  I have now cancelled that paper.  We would use it for hot dog roasts, camping etc but those days be gone!  So wrapping paper it is.

 I have started to stack the presents on the table, rounded up the scotch tape (several boxes but no dispenser), many name tags at the ready, pens, scissors, twine instead of ribbon blah blah blah.  I shall start tomorrow.  And I will need to get it done cuz I think Millie comes this week.  Sigh.  I have started to practice a piece on the piano so maybe I will wrap two presents, tag them right away, then sit at the piano and run through the piece a couple of times then go wrap a couple more.  Should work.  I can put that b*tch Judge Judy on the tv to distract me.  The cow. (I pvr her )

We finally gave in and got Hey Google (I don't know what to call it). The jury is still out on whether I like it or not.  It's still creeping me out.  Seems the ultimate self indulgence...I don't ever have to leave my chair now!  I just need her to go to the loo for me and I can sit here for days and atrophy.  I am seeing if I can get through a whole day and keep my step count under ten.  (just kidding!  I know some of you believed me!!!!  Can't say as I blame ya). But it is a pretty amazing machine.  The hardest part of setting it up was trying to remember the couple of passwords I needed to get the app going.  

Peter is still here with us.  We have had many many amazing conversations.  He is such a learned, extremely well read person.  I have learned so much from him.  And he cleans!!!  I am just NOT used to that.  He does dishes.  He sweeps. He puts things away.  And then he sits down with me in the living room and we talk and talk and talk.  I love it.  Both Monte and I were saying tonight how we dread the day he leaves, which selfishly I hope isn't any time soon.  I still miss Graeme and Anton.  You get to know these kids so well and then poof! they are gone.

All day I have been trying to remember my shortbread recipe I always use.  Originally I got it from Leila, a Monte Creek neighbour.  Best recipe ever!  And I think it goes like this:

1 pound of salted butter, softened
3 cups flour
1cup icing sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch

Using your hands, mix it all until it forms a ball.  Make little balls and flatten and place on cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 until just barely brown around the edges,  somewhere between ten and twenty minutes.  If you have them, before baking place red and green candied cherries cut in half on top of each cookie.  Or do something foolish like putting sprinkles or crushed candy cane on top.  I prefer mine unbesmirched!

There now its forever findable.  At the craft fair I bought a big honking bag of already mixed shortbread, unbaked.  You just have to put it in a pan, flatten it, and top it with your fave bar recipe. I think I will make one pan of lemon bars and one pan of toffee bars...from Company's Coming bar cookbook.  Niece Dorothy and I used to make them in Bamfield back in the day.

So now I am rambling again.  Hangin' er up time...TTYL

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